Early voting continues through Friday.
Tuesday’s turnout was the second lowest of any single day so far, topping only Sunday, and preliminary numbers from a few of the larger counties suggests today’s (Wednesday) turnout was a little lower. Despite the decline, turnout continues to be record-shattering for a gubernatorial election. Only the 2016 presidential election has had higher early turnout through nine days, and that gap increased a little because of Tuesday’s slowdown.
According to Republican political consultant Derek Ryan’s latest analysis of early voters, 63% of voters cast ballots in 2010 and/or 2014, and 26% of voters participated in 2012 and/or 2016 but not in a recent gubernatorial election. Just over 11% of votes cast are from voters with no recent general election voting history. Some voted in primaries this year, but one out of every 10 early voters are “new” voters. That’s roughly 310K people, which is equivalent to 57% of new voter registrations since the March primary.
Through Tuesday, nearly 3.7M people have voted in person and by mail in the 30 counties with the most registered voters. In those same counties in 2014, a total of 3.6M people voted early and on Election Day. Nineteen counties have already seen more voters than in all of 2014 as of yesterday, and several others likely surpassed their 2014 totals today (Wednesday). Relative to 2014, turnout is highest in El Paso (+33%), Collin (+25%), Williamson (+21%), Denton (+20%) and Lubbock (+19%) Cos. Turnout is lowest in Jefferson (-13%), McLennan (-13%), Webb (-12%), Smith (-11%) and Nueces (-10%) Cos.
In the 15 counties with the most registered voters, more than 3.1M people have voted in person and by mail. This is nearly 2M more than at the same point in 2014 and fewer than 200K less than at the same point in 2016.
Turnout was lower on Tuesday than on Monday in the 15 counties with the most registered voters for which we have consistent data*. Fewer than 300K people cast ballots in those counties, which is 18% fewer than Friday’s total. It’s only the second time since 2004 that turnout on the second Tuesday fell from the previous day (2012).
Several counties released preliminary numbers for today (Wednesday), and turnout again appears to have further declined. In Harris Co., just over 50K people voted in person or by mail, a 22% drop from Tuesday. In-person turnout declined 15% today in Bexar Co. compared to Tuesday. Montgomery, Tarrant and Williamson Cos. also appear to have experienced a drop-off from Tuesday.
* Fourteen of the counties are the same as the current Top 15. The current Top 15 includes Brazoria Co., which supplanted Nueces Co. We include Nueces Co. for this comparative part of the analysis because we have daily turnout data from that county going back to 2004, the earliest year in our study frame. We only have daily totals for Brazoria Co. for this year.
©2018 Texas Election Source LLC